You might think you need to spend thousands of dollars to build an effective home gym, but what if I told you it was possible to put one together with just $246.04 using a selection of the best Amazon products and holiday deals?
That might seem like an incredibly precise figure, but that's because it is a precise figure. I've scoured Amazon and cherry-picked eight cost-effective items that will give you a great workout without weighing heavily on your wallet.
By combining adjustable dumbbells with one of the best kettlebells, an often overlooked and imminently affordable cardio hero, and a few more surprising inclusions too, you can perform exercises that will build muscle, increase strength, and improve aerobic capacity without having a gym membership drain your bank account each month.
If you want to find out how I did it, or gain a little inspiration for your own budget home gym, scroll down and see which items I think are worth buying (and, equally as importantly, why they deserve a spot in your workout space).
- Amazon US: Browse weights deals
- Best Buy: Discounts on Bowflex, JAXJOX, and other great brands
- Dicks Sporting Goods: PowerBlock, Bowflex and other top brands reduced
- Target: Weights are up to 25% off
- Walmart: Deals on home weights for every budget
Amazon home gym deals
PACEARTH Gymnastic Rings | $29.99 at Amazon
They might seem intimidating at first, but gymnastic rings are the ultimate training tool for all ability levels. They're cheap, compact and versatile — you can take them anywhere and hang them from a tree, basketball hoop or any other stable anchor point. They can provide an upper-body workout like no other, and they're surprisingly accessible too, with progressions and regressions of most movements. So, if you're not ready for ring dips, you can start with ring push-ups or kneeling ring push-ups to build your pushing power.
Yes4All Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbell 50lb Set |
was: $61.25, now $54.99 at Amazon
I love a barbell, but dumbbells trump their longer cousin when it comes to versatility and affordability. You can perform compound exercises such as goblet squats, isolation moves bicep curls, weighted carries and even incorporate them into high-intensity resistance training workouts. I also really like them for unilateral (or one-sided) training, which is great for addressing muscular imbalances in your body. You can buy heavier options than this 50lb set, but these will cost extra.
CAP Barbell Flat Weight Bench |
was: $69.99, now $50.33 at Amazon
Every item on this list has been included to expand your home workout horizons, and this simple yet sturdy weight bench allows you to perform the eponymous bench press to work your chest. Plus, you can use it for everything from box squats to bent-over rows, hip thrusts to Bulgarian split squats. This last exercise is the secret weapon in any experienced trainer's leg-day arsenal, but be warned, they're devilishly difficult.
Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell 10lb |
was: $17.49, now $14.86 at Amazon
Including a dumbbell and a kettlebell might seem like overkill, but there's a good reason I think both deserve a spot in your home gym. Thanks to their ergonomic shape (which makes them easy to hold and catch in a front rack position) kettlebells are fantastic for dynamic movements like swings, snatches and the clean and press. If you're short on time, a circuit of these exercises can be an efficient way to work your muscles while getting your cardio fix in one fell swoop.
Speed Skipping Rope | $13.98 on Amazon
Exercise machines have their place, but the reality is you can torch calories while training your heart and lungs with this $10 tool. As an exercise, it's scalable too, meaning if regular skipping seems too simple you can attempt new, more energy-intensive techniques like double-unders and cross-overs. I find adding this learning element to cardio sessions makes them much more engaging and enjoyable, helping me forget my sweat-sodden brow.
Iron Gym Pull-Up Bar |
was: $79.99, now: $26.60 at Amazon
The ability to perform a pull-up puts you in an elite group of gym-goers, and learning this movement is an excellent way to develop both back brawn and serious pulling power. If you're not ready for a full pull-up, you can try clove hitching one of the looped resistance bands (below) around the bar and placing it under your feet to perform an assisted version of the movement. That's not all this door-mounted pull-up bar is good for either, you can also use it for hanging ab exercises like knee raises and L-sits — just make sure you have a doorframe that can accommodate it.
Tom Shoo Pull-Up Assist Resistance Bands Set |
was: $39.99, now: $34.99 at Amazon
These looped resistance bands are excellent for assisted pull-ups, but their potential definitely doesn't end there. You can use them to hit all muscle groups, including your legs with squats, arms with bicep curls, and chest with banded push-ups. They're also small enough to fit in most kit bags, making them a great fit for training on-the-go. And with five resistance options, there's something to suit all strength levels.
ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat |
was: $25.99, now $20.30 at Amazon
If you're short on space, one of the best yoga mats might be a better option. However, for my garage, I like these cushioned jigsaw mats. The six 24 x 24-inch tiles link together easily to cover a wide area, you can attach them in different ways to change the shape, and they allow me to perform burpees without worrying about bashing my body on the hard stone floor below.
So, there you have it, those are my eight picks to build a cost-effective home gym using some of the best fitness deals on Amazon. With these training tools and a sprinkling of imagination, you can perform an enormous array of exercises with these training tools.
I'm a firm believer in there being no better motivation to exercise than enjoyment. So, given that variety is the spice of life, I designed this set-up to accommodate a fun, fresh fitness routine that has you counting down the hours until your next home workout.
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Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.
Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.
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